BOZEMAN - Gov. Greg Gianforte announced he has selected Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin to head the Montana Department of Corrections Monday.
Gootkin has spent 27 years of service with the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office, working as a patrol deputy, detective with the Missouri River Drug Task Force, sergeant in Big Sky, jail administrator, undersheriff and county sheriff.
“I’m proud to nominate Sheriff Gootkin to join our team to change the culture at the Department of Corrections and help the agency better serve the people of Montana. Brian is as committed as I am to reducing recidivism and improving reentry for individuals in our corrections system. I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes at the department,” Gov. Gianforte said in a release from his office.
Gov. Gianforte's release continued Gootkin was a security specialist with the United States Air Force at Malmstrom Air Force Base from 1989 to 1993 before beginning his service with the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office.
“After 27 proud years with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, I’m honored to join the Gianforte administration as the Director of the Department of Corrections. The Department of Correction’s core charge is protecting and promoting public safety, and I look forward to bringing new transparency and accountability to that mission,” Gootkin said in the governor's release.
A release from Gallatin County said the county commission will work to pick a replacement to serve as sheriff for the remainder of Gootkin’s term, which ends at the end of 2022.
The Commission will appoint an interim sheriff. The position will then be advertised and open for applications.
Following the application period, the top three applicants will be interviewed by Commissioners, who will then appoint a permanent replacement at a public meeting.
No dates for this process have been set.